Dayan Pagoda(Big Wild Goose Pagoda)
As the symbol of the old-line Xian, Big Wild Goose Pagoda (also called Giant Wild Goose Pagoda) is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. It is located in the southern suburb of Xian City, about 4 kilometers (2.49 miles) from the downtown of the city. Standing in the Da Ci'en Temple complex, it attracts numerous visitors for its fame in the Buddhist religion and its simple but appealing style of construction. It is rated as a National Key Cultural Relic Preserve as well as an AAAA Tourist Attraction. In addition, it was added to the World Heritage List on June 22, 2014, together with other sites along the ancient Silk Road.Originally built in 652 during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang.
Xuanzang started off from Chang'an (the ancient Xian), along the Silk Road and through deserts, finally arriving in India, the cradle of Buddhism. Enduring 17 years and traversing 100 countries, he obtained Buddha figures, 657 kinds of sutras, and several Buddha relics. Having gotten the permission of Emperor Gaozong (628-683), Xuanzang, as the first abbot of Daci'en Temple, supervised the building of a pagoda inside it. With the support of royalty, he asked 50 hierarchs into the temple to translate Sanskrit in sutras into Chinese, totaling 1,335 volumes, which heralded a new era in the history of translation. Based on the journey to India, he also wrote a book entitled 'Pilgrimage to the West' in the Tang Dynasty, to which scholars attached great importance.
Daci'en Temple is the home of Big Wild Goose Pagoda. In 648, the temple is built to commemorate the dead virtuous queen, for which the status and scale far exceeded all others. Today, with an area of 12.5 acres (50,738 square meters), one seventh of the original area, it still retains its grandeur.
Before the temple, there stands a statue of hierarch Xuanzang, the meritorious hierarch. With guarding lions at both sides of the gate, the temple seems stately for lions were said to function as talismans. Entering the temple you will see two buildings - Bell Tower in the east and Drum Tower in the west. Along the central axis are arranged the Hall of Mahavira, Sermon Hall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Hall of Xuanzang Sanzang.
Xi'an Travel Guide